Praying at Home Today: Wednesday 21 July 2021
Praying at home today:
A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.If this is your first visit to this website, then you might like to read about the common elements and the suggested structure for each day’s prayer. Everything’s optional!
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying,
‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
Erant autem appropinquantes ei publicani, et peccatores ut audirent illum.
Et murmurabant pharisaei, et scribae, dicentes:
Quia hic peccatores recipit, et manducat cum illis.
Tous les collecteurs d’impôts et les pécheurs s’approchaient de Jésus pour l’écouter.
Mais les pharisiens et les spécialistes de la loi murmuraient, disant:
«Cet homme accueille des pécheurs et mange avec eux.»
The Liturgy of the Word
Jesus was evidently an extraordinary character. He mixed with the most despised people in society, including lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes.
As the son of a single mother (at the time of his conception), he was perhaps used to being a bit different.
Maybe this opened up a huge empathetic space within him so that he could identify with the lowest in society, who came to listen to him, to one who didn’t judge them.
We know from the Gospels that he also had the ability to mix with people of authority, e.g. the Roman centurion. It was the hypocrites that he seems to have had the most issues with.
The famous story of the lost sheep is his rationale for mixing with these sinners: if a single sheep is lost, will not a true shepherd leave the 99 that are safe and seek out the lost one?
So it is with all who are lost; God goes out to them and brings them home.
The Protestant theologian retells the story of the prodigal son, in which God, in Jesus, goes into the far country and brings back fallen humanity.
This is indeed amazing grace.
As the Church celebrates William Wilberforce, who believed that God loved all people equally and that this should be enshrined in law.
One person he was in contact with was the reformed slaveowner, John Newton, who had been saved from drowning when the slave ship he was on was saved from a storm by the miraculous shifting of cargo, which blocked the hole in the hull.
Newton took this as a divine sign and began his conversion from licentious libertine to the abolitionist cause.
This wasn’t a quick conversion; this event took place in 1754 and it wasn’t until 1788 that he finally renounced his former profession, despite having been ordained Anglican priest in 1764.
As he said, “God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip.”
Newton was a mentor to Wilberforce, and the Slave Trade Act was finally written into legislation in 1807.
Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come:
’tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease:
I shall possess, within the veil,
a life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
the sun forbear to shine;
but God, who called me here below,
will be forever mine.
John Newton (1725-1807)
Music for reflection
As the Church celebrates the life and work of William Wilberforce (1833),
we pray at home today for the needs of our world.
- for the victims of slavery,
- that our eyes may be opened to those in need.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for those working to end all slavery.)
For all who have asked for our prayers.
a moment of silence
Pray for us all
Prayer for Palestine and Israel
O God the creator of all life,
we bring before you all the people who call Israel and Palestine home.
We particularly remember those living in Jerusalem and Gaza
whose lives are marred by restrictions to their freedom,
the threat of eviction from their homes
and the constant fear of armed conflict.
We ask your forgiveness for the anger, hatred and violence
that all of us have the potential to carry within us.
We beseech you to soften hearts and open minds
so that the sanctity of life is always protected,
the right to freedom of worship upheld
and the security of a safe home defended.
We pray that justice will flow like rivers,
that human dignity will be respected
and that each of us may strive
to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with you our God.
Embrace the Middle East
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificetur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié,
que ton règne vienne,
que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation
mais délivre-nous du Mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
O God of power and might,
all good things belong to you:
sow in our hearts the love of your name,
and make us grow in the life of faith;
nurture the things that are good,
and tend them with your loving care;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are usually from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are usually from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.